The holidays… Vacation time for many but not for the few chosen nurses. Fortunately, I’m not one of them. *evil laugh*
Having three days off duty, I decided on a Boracay getaway. I’ve been there thrice before but either for a conference or on a family vacation.
Day one was my chill day, no itinerary, just thought of swimming and strolling on the beach.
It was around 6-8 years ago the last time I went there. Back then, there’s no jetty port and the pump boat drops you right at Station 2.
From the port, I rode the trike to my hostel which I booked online for one night. It was Mad Monkey Hostel near Bulabog Beach. It was one of the perfect choices if you want to try water sports because it’s just a 5-minute walk to Bulabog beach. Not ideal for swimming or else, you’ll be avoiding windsurfers here and there.
Other hostels nearby are MNL Beach Hostel, W Hostel, Cool Stay Inn and Chill Out Hostel. These are the budget hostels I’ve met when I was looking for a cheap accommodation online.
MAD MONKEY HOSTEL
It wasn’t the cheapest by the time I booked online, P600 compared to P370 and P495 for a dorm-type room of the hostels I mentioned above but I trusted the reviews that it’s a party place and I thought I might just not Pubcrawl to save money.
They offer different activities like the Booze Cruise (I was contemplating but it’s costly for me), please see pic for activities. It seemed to me like an island hopping with drinks and a party vibe.
Each night at the bar, they have different themes. Like during my stay, War Games, which meant you have to drink for your country. See pic below.
Basically, you have to order the Boracay Bomb and it will give 2 points to your country. Then, you can deduct 1 point to whatever country you choose.
I met a Thai girl who put Thailand on the board. She drank two for Thailand to gain 4 points.Then 2 guys from Liechtenstein were also encouraged to put their country on the board. At first they were hesitant but the people there were quite persuasive.
At first, I was just satisfied with free shots they give every hour or something. I think that was the owner, he would shout “Mad Monkey guests, free shots… on the bar!” Or something like that. But my roommates convinced me to buy one. I ordered coke rum @80php. Other drinks were around P80-200 or more. The Boracay bomb was 180php. I wasn’t able to add points to the Philippines.
At first, I felt quite out of place being alone and my roommates had already bonded (a group of three guys from UK and a girl and a guy from Holland) and I think the other Filipinos are somewhere because all I can see are foreigners. But generally, people there were nice. I found myself enjoying at the bar.
I got to talk to the Thai girl, struck a conversation with an Australian (she asked me to call her T) about Tablas Island who bought me a drink and invited to their table and introduced me to her other friends.
The thing is, the bar there is usually just their warm up. Most of the guests start going to the white beach to party.
It was overall nice except for these few things:
- The Wi-Fi is good at the reception area only.
- I thought there’s breakfast included.
- There’s a toilet per room but it isn’t enough. Haha! I remembered the guy from the next room asked if our toilet was free.
For the second day, since I can’t afford island hopping and since I discovered that I can walk from Bulabog to the White Beach, I did beach hopping by foot. Honestly, back then I thought I need to ride the trike.
I woke up early and ate breakfast. For food, I just eat at carinderias or whatever I can see that is as much as possible, less than P80. That’s possible if you’re really not looking for a specific cuisine you want to try.
Then I strolled the length of Bulabog beach. No wonder activities like windsurfing and others were held here. Judge by the wind on the pic below.
There are different windsurfing or kiteboarding schools around, from those with Pinoy names to those who target specific nationalities (Chinese school, Russian school).
I went back to the hostel and slept for a while then checked out. I left my bag of clothes at the hostel’s baggage counter (at your own risk) and brought the important stuff with me in my dry bag.
Then I walked to Puka beach with Google maps as my friend. I took the main road.
Actually, they say that from station 2 to Puka, it’s just around P20-30 one way by public trike except if you hire the trike for a special trip which would cost you P150 one way.
Finally, after about an hour of walking, hallelujah!
I remembered years ago there were only a few beach loungers there but now, they even make money renting them to guests. They say it’s free but you have to buy at least one drink but the drinks cost P150-P300!
So I just swam for a while. And the waves were crazy!
The Manong who took my not so perfect shot at the Puka landmark told me they had a P50 drink (which is actually a 12 oz. softdrinks). I then ate my lunch which consisted of the P25 fried chicken and P10 rice I bought from the sidewalk earlier.
After chillin’ at Puka beach, I walked to Brgy. Diniwid which was mostly a residential area.
Those who go here just want some quiet time where they could read a book and enjoy the view of the ocean with less to none boats, tourists, etc.
Then I’ve read from a blog that there’s a pathway from Diniwid beach to Station 1. That was one of my goals for that day.
Then I sat at the beach to watch the sunset. I ate my dinner and prepared for Pubcrawl.
Wow. Indeed, best night ever. I thought I’ll feel out of place again but I found pipz from Iloilo who we happened to have common friends. The captains were great because they see to it you get introduced to people, that you should not be partying alone. I kennot… KENNOT fully describe how amazing it was. The party animal in me was unleashed. I couldn’t even imagine my mouth was nonstop from talking (and drinking) the whole night! And I drank a lot. Gosh. This is such a disconnected paragraph, and I’m quite as disconnected that night. That night, only three words made sense: drink, dance, make friends. Wait, that was four.
So I woke up early at around 6 AM, went to the beach to swim for a while.
And I got tempted again to paddleboard! I asked Manong to take a photo of me paddleboarding but it was such an epic fail that I cannot upload a decent one. Honestly, he took two 4-sec videos instead of a photo. And none of them was me standing up on the paddleboard. So whatever.
Standup paddleboarding is at P300 for one hour. During my first day, I asked if I could do 30 minutes for P150. But the girl did not agree. She says P200 for 30 minutes. I agreed anyway. And I think I had a lot of extension with my time, at around 45 minutes total so I guess I had my money’s worth.
This time, Manong agreed with P150 so what the heck?! Standup paddleboarding when you’re on a hangover. Damn, right!
So after, I thought I’d skip breakfast but I did not. I ate a silog breakfast at the beachside and I wished I went with my original plan of skipping breakfast.
FYI: I ended up vomiting them on the bus on my way home.
I went back to the Mad Monkey Hostel to get my bag, changed clothes, went to the port and rode a bus home to my hometown Pototan.
And before I end this post, let me just say it was an epic hangover.
So here goes my list of expenses:
My original plan was to fit P3,000 in 3 days but I guess that was impossible because I picked the peak season to go there.
But here are a few tips that might help:
- Make sure to take the public trike and not to agree with the special trip unless you’re in a group maybe or if you have money and you want to be worry-free.
- I thought I’d get a good deal if I will personally check in but at peak season, the best thing to do is book online to get good deals. On the second night, I tried looking for a hostel but all of them are at their “peak season rates,” the cheapest one I saw is P700 for a mixed dorm.
- I found a good deal online with W Hostel @ P370 but I didn’t have my credit card with me so I just went there personally. And they presented me with their peak season rate. I asked how come it’s cheap online and they told me it’s the booking system something. And then they offered me a P100 discount if I leave a TripAdvisor comment but I have to show it to them first. Oh well.
- MNL Beach Hostel reception girl was friendly. I think a good reception staff can make or break a guest’s decision to stay. Just saying. I recommended it to a Taiwanese friend who’s there now. I’ll definitely leave a good review for MNL.
- You can have cheap but good food if you know (and patient) to look around.
- Buy only what you need. Or if it’s a good deal, haha! I think I went past my budget because I bought a few things. But I think the swimsuit was a good deal, I mean, a decent swimsuit for P200? And I couldn’t see that design anywhere else so it’s definitely worth it.
- I think you don’t need Pubcrawl if you’re quite the social butterfly. But I wasn’t so I needed some push.